Book Signing this Saturday – Liverpool Waterstone’s

Here's the info:

Saturday April 2nd, 2011 - Waterstone's, 12 College Lane, Liverpool, L1 3DL (0151 709 9820) from 1pm until 4pm. Click her for a map.

Students from Maricourt Catholic High and Maghull High in Liverpool have been emailing about the signing. Some of you have asked if it is OK to bring a copy of Hard Time to Waterstone’s to get it signed. Yes, that is fine, but I recommend you bring a purchase receipt, so there are no problems with the security guards. Oh the irony if you were to get arrested at one of my signings!

Today, I spoke to the Year 10 students at Maghull High. A student called Joey said that the Maricourt Catholic High students had raved about my talk to the Maghull High students, so they were all excited. They also knew that Joe (a Maricourt student) was using T-Bone as his profile pic. The talk was so well received that the students stayed an additional thirty minutes to ask questions, forfeiting their break time.

Out of an audience of 240 students at Maricourt, I ended up with over 60 Faceboook friend requests – that’s the most ever after a talk.

Clicking on the flyer makes it bigger:

Click here for future signings.

Click here for the previous book signing blog.

Shaun Attwood

Talk at Welling School

Just got back from Welling School in Kent. I am still on a natural high after talking from 9am until 3pm to almost 700 students. It was one of the greatest receptions I’ve had so far at a school.

The organisation skills of the contact teacher were quickly evident. Upon arrival, I was assigned an entourage of student helpers from the sixth form, who ensured that I was properly taken care of, and took me on a tour of the school. Some of them went beyond the call of duty during the third talk when a window covering fell down, rendering the audience unable to see my PowerPoint images on the big screen. As the audience moaned, the helpers – two clad in black and white jail outfits – rushed over and raised the window covering back up, holding it there, arms raised, for the next 30 minutes.

The first talk was to sixth formers, so they got the hardest hitting version. During the break, I ended up in the sixth-form common room, fielding a bombardment of questions. It felt good to be surrounded by so many people interested in my story, and I was reminded of how lucky I am to have the opportunity to influence so many young people, that something good has come out of the bad situation I put myself in at Arpaio’s jail.

One of the most moving moments of the day was when the student helpers and contact teacher presented me with a thank you card and a box of chocolates. They wrote:

Thank you for coming in today to share your experiences. We appreciate all your support in making us aware of the consequences. We wish you the best of luck in the other schools you speak to.

I also received this email from the contact teacher:

Just a quick e mail to say THANK YOU so much. Your talk was inspirational, heart warming and educational. You have encouraged pupils in a kind and subtle way to reflect on their own lives and not take life for granted. Most of all, you have made them think! They have stopped in their tracks and hopefully if the issue of drugs ever arises, they will have learnt to think hard and long about the consequences of potential actions.

And numerous emails from the students, like these:

Hello shaun!

I was in the speech you did today to the 6th form, I found your talk really motivational, it really made me think about what it is I want to do and how I want to spend my life. You made the speech so interesting and enjoyable, I’ve rung my nan and great nan in london and told all my family your story - I'm so glad you come to share it with us. I wish you the best thank you so much Kelle

i am a student form welling school; and i just want to say that the speech you did today was BRILLIANT!!!!!!!! it really opened by mind on the reality of prison than what it is proclaim to be
thanks!!!! Rachel

Hey Shaun, your talk today was amazing, really had my attention! Hearing your story was amazing and knowing that you have been through that journey yet managed to be as strong as you are amazes me too! Thank you for coming in! Robyn.

Click here for Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 10)
Moved to a New Cell (by Lifer Renee)

Renee – Only a teenager, she received a 60-year sentence. Now 15 years in, Renee is writing from Perryville prison in Goodyear, Arizona, providing a rare and unique insight into a women's prison.

New policy states that inmates with the same crimes and time have to live together.
So, at 5.30am, a crew of sergeants, lieutenants, and support rolled down to the yard, screaming “Lockdown!”
I could see the papers in their hands. My stomach knotted.
An officer stepped by my room. “Thorpe, pack up your stuff, and take it to the table.” He was moving my roommate.
Not knowing who I was going to get kept my stomach in knots. It’s hard to get a compatible roommate.

When I saw Virginia, high-strung, OCD, a non-smoker, coming, I didn’t just say no to myself, I said hell no.
She came in saying, “I can’t handle smoking.”
I replied, “I did not burst forth from your loins, and I’m not sleeping with you. I’ve done 16 years here, and you or no one else is going to run me. Know that! And know this: it will only be temporary.”
“No, no, wait.”
“I’m done talking.”

I saw Hope, who I’d been hoping to get. She asked, “Do you want to live with me? I got Jackie. Can you see what you can do?”
There was a congregation of African Americans around her cell.
“Let’s fill a kite[request] out now and get it to the COII[counsellor]. He is going to be gone all next week.”
We managed to get the kite to the movement officer before the morning meeting, and we talked to the disciplinary officer. Hope was crying. We talked to everyone and became a topic of discussion at the morning meeting.

At 10am, the movement officer notified me at work that I was moving.
“Go pack your stuff and get it done before count.”
I ran to the yard, packed my belongings, a little traumatized. I had lived in that cell for 9 years – the same old cell. I thought, Who gets attached to a cell? Obviously, I had.
I moved, losing my lower bunk. Whoever has the lower bunk pretty much runs the room. Me and my former roommate were alright. I’m not real comfortable where I’m at. I hear everything and it wakes me up. I am alright with my new roommate. It’s just going to take a while to adjust to the location.


I am still adjusting. I live in D pod, right by the yard gate and control box. The good thing is I see everything coming and going. The bad thing is I live right next to the “barber shop” AKA the “card shack,” where the girls hang out, play cards, talk loudly about nothing, and every once in a while someone might get a hair cut.

Click here for Renee’s previous blog

Post comments for Renee below or email them to To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun Attwood
New Laundry Bag and Sewage Spill (by the Occult Killer)

Dubbed the Occult Killer by the media, Brandon is serving 6 to 12 years in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. His crime: he killed his best friend in a drunk-driving accident. When police investigators discovered Gothic paraphernalia in his bedroom, they claimed Brandon had committed a sacrificial murder for the benefit of Satan.

Typical Tuesday, busiest day of the week with cell cleaning, laundry and store. Had an appointment to get a new laundry bag (my dose of excitement for the week). They came through for me in a week, a new record. They’re usually six weeks late and ’bout three-fiddy short. Just the latest in a string of epic bunglings. First was the new commissary and it being set up to fail, next the departure of certain staff setting them back six months and over 300 exchanges (and chintzy laundry bags helped!), after that Fisher got fired from the kitchen over a major racketeering scandal sending our food quality downhill faster than an avalanche, finally J-Block went under 18 inches of raw sewage causing an outbreak of hepatitis A, and contaminating everything but the east yard thanks to inmates treading it everywhere. Not to be overly dramatic, but they should have brought in a team on that one. It wasn’t until days later that they gave each side of the block a single mop and a bucket of industrial strength cleaner and went cell to cell. Imagine that, 128 cells, thousands of square feet, two mops.

Click here for Brandon's previous blog.

Click here for Brandon's review of Hard Time.

All of the original blog entries I pencilled from Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Madison Street jail that were smuggled out by my aunt Ann - content not included in Hard Time - are now available as as e-book. My friend Stephanie designed the brilliant cover.

Click here for the Amazon Kindle Edition.

Click here for the ebook at available worldwide to all devices, including PC's. 

Shaun Attwood
Waterstone's Deansgate Book Signing

It was a lively book signing this weekend in Manchester. I sold 45 copies of Hard Time, helped by Mum, my friend Sue Fox (in the guard outfit below seducing the security guard), and Wild Man. A big thank you to everyone who helped, including the proactive staff who wore prison outfits, handed flyers out, and brought us drinks and snacks. It was also great to meet Claire (top photo) who said she has read every single entry at Jon's Jail Journal.

Click here for the previous Waterstone's signing blog.
Shaun Attwood
The Book Signing this Saturday...

Just got an email from Waterstone’s in Deansgate, Manchester, saying that the record for book sales set at that store by a non-celebrity author is 40-something copies. With the help of the flyer Peter at Waterstone’s has expertly designed for us, we hope to set a new record tomorrow.

Last night, Wild Man called to say that he will be showing up at the book signing at 4pm with his fiancée. Neither of whom are light drinkers – and there is a bar in the bookstore. Add in my extreme clown friend, Piggy Sue, who is dressing as a prison guard, and has threatened to arrest any shoppers who refuse to buy Hard Time, it should be an interesting day - but will Hammy be there? Drinks on Canal Steet afterwards?

Shaun Attwood

The Book Signing this Saturday...

is at Waterstone's, Deansgate, Manchester from 11am until we beat the 69 books sold at the Trafford Centre last week. Click here for further info. Possibly Wild Man, Hammy, and one of my extreme clown friends might also be showing up.
Maricourt Catholic High School
Had one of the best receptions yet yesterday. About one in every five talks, the students go wild, as was the case at Maricourt High in Liverpool. The lunch time came, and the students yelled, "Keep going. Don't stop," so I carried on. The teachers had to chuck them out in the end. The questions were relentless, and it was one of the most enjoyable schools I've ever visited. The applause and whistling and howling made me feel special, and I was able to get an important message across.

Out of the Facebook friend requests from Maricourt students, one called Joe must have taken a photo of T-Bone during my talk from my Powerpoint display, as he made T-Bone his profile pic on Facebook. I laughed when I first saw it - click here to see it. 

In Liverpool, I also have a book signing coming up at Waterstone's in L1 on Saturday April 2 from 1pm - 4pm - click here for more info.
Shaun Attwood
Waterstone's Birkenhead Book Signing

It was a sunny but slow Sunday in Birkenhead - or in terms of the vernacular of book sellers there was "low footfall." Mum and I failed to beat the sales record set by a local non-celebrity author of 34 books. We only sold 21, but met some great people, including the really proactive staff, who are now looking into organizing my prison talk as an event in the cafe at the back of the store.

With insufficient shoppers to set her upon, I had no choice but to allow Mum to take breaks, during which she gorged herself on cakes and coffee. The staff actually dragged out a little table for Mum to feast upon. She sat there, next to my much larger table, piling up evidence of her dietary intake, banana peel, empty teacups, crumbs from scones, a partially chewed walnut she'd found disagreeable and spat into a tissue, glowing with the incredulous happiness of an over-worked employee unaccustomed to rest, oblivious to the fact that she won't be allowed even so much as to visit the ladies room, never mind take a break, next Saturday at Manchester, Deansgate, Waterstone's biggest store in the northwest, which even has its own restaurant and bar - I guess this will be the signing Hammy shows up to.

Click here for the previous Waterstone's signing blog.

Shaun Attwood
Waterstone's Manchester Trafford Centre Book Signing

Mum and I sold 69 books today, setting a new record at that store for a non-celebrity author. Mum insisted upon incuding two photos of her in this blog for the benefit of Nigel. She looks happiest in the photo of her bashing me over the head with Hard Time.

I couldn't pull Mum out of the store today as she was on sales auto-pilot. I started packing up to leave at 4.15, but Mum kept pitching the book, closing sales left and right like this one:
"We've got a local author signing a book today," Mum said to a man with his wife and two kids. "It's a bit like the Shawshank, but it really happened to him."
"I'm going to look for something at the back of the store first, but I'll read your flyer and come back," said the man, rotating his body away from Mum's grasp.
"We're packing up. About to leave," Mum said, freezing the man in a semi-rotated position. "It's a real page turner."
Mum's words turned the man back towards us. He read the flyer, and said, "Sounds real interesting. I guess I'd better buy it now then."
And that was that.

We are at Birkenhead Waterstone's tomorrow.

Click here for the previous Waterstone's signing blog.

Shaun Attwood
Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 10)

I’m sat at Hanover Airport, waiting to board my return flight to London. Just did my first talk to English students at an overseas school called Prince Rupert. It went well. They asked questions for half an hour after the talk had ended.

I’m so exhausted, I’m about ready to fall asleep in the plastic chair at the edge of the café I’ve settled at. I did four one-hour talks in London yesterday, and jumped on a plane to Germany. I got to the Holiday Inn near midnight, and my taxi driver arrived at 6.20am to take me on a one-hour autobahn journey to the venue: a theatre in a military base, where I was greeted by an almost seven-foot guard with a handgun.

Other recent interesting venues include Arundel Castle, a massive restored medieval building dating back to 1067, owned by the Duke of Norfolk. With a bearded man on a £3-million Van Dyke painting watching over and smiling down at me, I told my story to the pupils of The Littlehampton Academy.

I did a talk at a nightclub to a nearly-all-female student audience, followed by the girl band The Ultra Girls, who were mobbed for autographs by hysterical students. Out of the handful of male students, one actually jumped on the stage and danced with the band, performing remarkably well under a barrage of heckles from the girls. I also got to see a dynamic public speaker, Lindsey Agness, take command of the students and coach them on life skills. My day there ended with a frenzy of cockroach hand-stamping, as the girls lined up demanding red and black ones.

I’m back to my hometown school this Monday, Saints Peter and Paul, where last year my mum answered a question impromptu that reduced several teachers and many students to tears.

The next book signings are in Manchester this Saturday, Birkenhead on Sunday, and Manchester the following Saturday. Click here for more info.

Click here for Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 9)

Shaun Attwood

BEN'S PRISON BLOG: "Prison Blogger Begins Hunger Strike"

BEN'S PRISON BLOG: "Prison Blogger Begins Hunger Strike": "Yes, it's true. Up until now I thought Cardiff were being helpful, but yesterday I visited Ben and he told me what was going on. ..."
Sweats and ID’s (Part 2 by Lifer Renee)

Renee – Only a teenager, she received a 60-year sentence. Now 15 years in, Renee is writing from Perryville prison in Goodyear, Arizona, providing a rare and unique insight into a women's prison.

The week went by. With no work for a month, I was going a little crazy, listening to people gossip and bitch.
“Go and see Officer Chitdez. Now!” a guard said on Thursday, referring to an officer in special prison investigations who I’ve known for 15 years.
I looked at her expressionless, or maybe dumbfounded.
“You know who that is, right?” she said in a lowered voice.
“Yeah, I know who it is.” My mind was racing: why does he want to see me? I got dressed, and walked up front, nervous. I sat outside of the yard office, waiting, for what felt like eternity before he called me.

Showing nothing on his face, Officer Chitdez pulled out the internal investigations IR report. “So tell me about these extra ID’s? You know they are considered escape paraphernalia.”
“Chitdez, man, be nice.”
He just cut his eyes at me. “Where did you get those ID’s from?”
I explained about losing and replacing them working for maintenance. “I did not know what to do with them, and forgot I had them. I couldn’t flush them. It’s my face and name. What if they clogged the toilet, and maintenance were called out? I’d be in trouble. I couldn’t throw them away. What if someone found them? And, come on, man, you’ve known me long enough. I’m not turning anything in to the cops. I just did not want to get into trouble. I didn’t know what to do with them,” I said, feeling frantic by now.
“When you worked maintenance, did you ever go offsite?”
“No. Come on, Chitdez, you’ve known me for 15 years – if I was going to escape I surely would have tried it when I was younger.”
“Has it been that long?” I could see him doing the math in his head. “So do you go offsite working for Televerde?”
“Who was your maintenance officer?”
“Mr. Irvine.”
He tapped something into his computer. “So if you ever get an extra ID, what are you going to do?”
“Bring it to you.”
“OK, you can go. Try and stay out of trouble.”
I was relieved, but as I walked out of the yard office I told myself that I can not possibly take anymore.

Click here for Part 1

Post comments for Renee below or email them to To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun Attwood
USA jail survivor Shaun Attwood comes to Preston (by Jonathan Gilbert of The Courant newspaper in Preston) 

Jonathan has put together one of the best articles so far. He obviously invested serious time and effort to research my story. He not only wrote about it, but also made audio clips, including my mum's first internet audio (available about half way down the article), two photo albums and a time line. I was extra surprised to see he quoted Sue O and Gab after reading through all of the Amazon reviews. A big "Good lookin' out, dawg!" to Jonathan.

Click here for the article
From the Manchester rave scene to the USA's toughest jail (by Jonathan Gilbert of The Courant newspaper in Preston) 

The reporter at the previous book signing matched up snippets from the audio interview he did with photos from my life to make this video:

Shaun Attwood